RASC Service Award

From the RASC 2019 Awards (compiled by James Edgar)

The Service Award is a major award of the Society given to a member in recognition of outstanding service, rendered over an extended period of time (at least 10 years), where such service has had a major impact on the work of the Society and/or of a Centre of the Society.

Citation for the Service Award for Roger Nelson Calgary Centre

Roger’s service to the RASC spans many roles, two RASC Centres, as well as the National Council and Board. His breadth of contributions is so large that it is almost insulting to try to fit it all on one page.

Roger joined Regina Astronomical Society in 1986 and shortly thereafter he was President, reinvigorating and thus saving the Regina Astronomical Society from collapse. He was a driving force in the push to reestablish ties with the RASC, which occurred in 1989. He led the efforts to move the club’s meeting space and a new observatory to the Saskatchewan Science Centre. Roger was instrumental in creating what was to become the Saskatchewan Summer Star Party when he invited the Saskatoon, Calgary, and Edmonton Centres to the Cypress Hills Star Party. This kick-started the enduring partnership between the Regina and Saskatoon Centres who continue to run the SSSP to this day.

After Roger’s move to the Calgary Centre, he quickly became active in the Calgary Centre’s programs and council. He was the Observing Committee Chair for many years, but also contributed as Councillor and the time-consuming role of Centre Secretary.

On the national front, Roger was a Centre Representative on National Council and played the role of co-chair of that body. He is currently on the RASC Board, where he fills the position of Secretary, and is also the Chair of the Information Technology Committee.

Roger’s prowess in information technology was never so welcomed as when he scratch-built the 2018 RASC General Assembly website under an impossibly tight deadline when it became clear the legacy web program that all assumed was going to work, simply did not. Without Roger’s efforts, the General Assembly would not have been possible to host properly.

Roger is also an active observer, with a meticulous logbook. He encourages members and the public alike to go observe the heavens, whether for simple enjoyment, observing certificate programs or, perhaps, to attempt some science.

Roger is also comfortable on television, and in both Regina and Calgary he used that medium to promote astronomy to the public in special community broadcasts or on news programs of major television network affiliates.

Roland Dechesne, President, Calgary Centre

Pierre Schierle, President, Regina Centre

Ross Parker, Historian, Regina